The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the way that people work, and online interactions have become a vital mode of communication.
As a result, your online image has become more important than ever. Here is why:
- People with updated, professional and consistent profile pictures seem more organised.
- Today a social media profile picture is equivalent to an appropriate job interview outfit 20 years ago.
- Profile pictures help others to identify you. Especially if you have a common first and/or last name, your profile photo helps establish an image of who you are.
- Your professional portraits help make a positive first impression and also create consistency across social media and other online platforms. That consistency instills a sense of confidence and professionalism in your personal brand for existing clients, future customers or potential employers.
One trick in attaining consistency in imagery is to use the same image across platforms, which helps people recognise and build a cohesive image of you. If a potential employer is looking for you online and sees the same photo of you on your blog as on a professional or academic site, it confirms that you're active and/or acknowledged in your field of work. Using the same image over and over also gives you more control — the more people see that same image, the less they will pay attention to others that make their way online.
Your appearance, including what you choose to wear for your portrait, your hair and — if appropriate — make-up, will play as important a role in your final image as the composition and lighting. You need to carefully consider the personality that you want to project in your professional business portrait. If your job or employer is very formal, you need to consider not only if you should be wearing a tie, but also what colour and even which knot to use.
When choosing a location, you need to establish a location that best suits your career and desired visual aesthetic. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your corporate portraits should align with your brand, whether that’s personal, professional or both. The location chosen for a lawyer will be entirely different from that chosen for a yoga instructor, for example.
People like to be able to see who you are and feel like they can connect with you. Your professional portrait is one of the most important tools you can use to build trust. Remember some basic psychology principles when picking your photo to use — a smiling face in good lighting will emanate trustworthiness and confidence.